DSS reports findings of fraud in DSNAP benefits from October floods

MYRTLE BEACH, SC (WBTW) – The South Carolina Department of Social Services says a quality-control review of Disaster Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program applications shows only 23 total cases of fraud in Horry and Georgetown counties and the Pee Dee area.

In the fall of 2015, DSS operated a DSNAP in all 24 counties declared eligible for individual assistance in the October 2015 Presidential Disaster Declaration. To be eligible for a DSNAP benefit, an applicant household must meet three criteria:

  1. Reside in a disaster area
  2. Purchase or plan to purchase food during the disaster period
  3. Experience an adverse effect due to the disaster, including, unreimbursed disaster-related expenses, unreimbursed loss of income and inaccessible liquid resources.

DSS Director of Communications and Legislative Affairs Karen Wingo says the state received 209,927 DSNAP applications and the state-wide approval rate of the applications was 85%.

Wingo says 15,685 emergency DSNAP benefit applications were approved in Horry County. Of those, 549 were reviewed during the audit with four cases of possible fraud being discovered.

In Florence County, 12,648 applications were approved, 635 were reviewed and seven fraud cases were discovered. Officials say DSS Integrity Staff will contact those involved in the fraud cases to arrange a repayment agreement. If the client does not pay in full or make arrangements for monthly repayment, it will be sent to the Treasurer Offset Program where the debt will be paid through tax intercept, explain Wingo. If recovery is unsuccessful, the department will evaluate other options including, but not limited to, prosecution in magistrate’s court.

County Total Applications Approved Total Applications Reviewed in Audit IPV Claims Established
Darlington 5,843 292 2
Florence 12,648 635 7
Georgetown 5,445 272 4
Horry 15,685 549 4
Marion 5,789 521 6
Williamsburg 3,331 283 0

 

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